The Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park set several handle records, including an all-sources mark that topped the previous standard by a little more than $200,000.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Lone Star Park was a sight to behold Oct. 30 when the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships came to town. An enthusiastic crowd of 53,717 horse lovers from around the world was on hand to take part in the most important day in the history of the Texas racing industry.
By Gary West -- The message echoed through the grandstand and spread through the crowd. In the stable area, people from Europe, California, Kentucky, and New York gladly picked up the message and passed it along. Now, if only the so-called leaders in Texas aren't deaf.
A rundown on some of the major participants in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Some will be retired, while others remain in training and will attempt the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park.
Preliminary all-sources handle on the 12-race Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card held Saturday at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, was $119,467,321.
Breeders' Cup and Lone Star Park officials said they were pleased with how the Grand Prairie racetrack pulled off its first World Thoroughbred Championships.
Wilko, who had won just two of 10 starts in Europe, beat the best 2-year-old colts at Lone Star Park Saturday at odds of 28-1, winning the $1.5 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Ouija Board proved those who pounded her to 9-10 odds-on favorite correct in their thinking. What they probably didn't figure on were the incredibly slow fractions that she closed on to win the $1,410,000 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Speightstown roared to the front in early stretch, opened up a commanding lead, then held off the late run of Kela to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) by 1 ¼ lengths. The son of Gone West covered the six furlongs in 1:08.11.
Sweet Catomine moved one step closer to locking up the champion 2-year-old filly title with an impressive 3 3/4-length win in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Lone Star Park, stopping the clock in the 1 1/16-mile event in a quick 1:41.65
Ashado, a 3-year-old filly by Saint Ballado, added to her impressive resume Oct. 30 with a decisive victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff Presented by Nextel (gr. I).
Breeders' Cup day started off with a bang, longshot Wishingitwas taking the D.R. Horton Metroplex Mile, the one stakes run at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, prior to the eight World Thoroughbred Championship races.
At 10:35 a.m. (local Central time), D.G. Van Clief Jr. walked to the microphone in the Lone Star Park winner's circle and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships officially began.
Golden Eagle Farm homebred Yearly Report rolled to a 9 1/2-length victory in track-record time in Friday's Stonerside Stakes on the eve of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park.
On the heels of a record wagering day, Lone Star Park was set to host its first Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships with an improved weather forecast and a flurry of activity the morning of the event at the Texas racetrack.
Breeders' Cup and Lone Star Park executives met the afternoon of Oct. 29 to discuss plans given the possibility of a heightened terror alert in the United States, but the strategy already was in place, according to an official close to the situation.
Weather forecasters have downgraded the chance of showers or thunderstorms in the Grand Prairie, Texas area to 20% for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park Saturday afternoon.
Plans for enhanced security, drug testing, and licensing by the Texas Racing Commission have been in the making for more than a year in advance of the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park. It's the first time Texas has hosted the Cup.
The financial implications of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships -- before, during, and after the event -- are huge, speakers said Oct. 29 during a seminar sponsored by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association at Lone Star Park.
The International Jockey Championship had a distinctive Texas flavor Oct. 28 when Dallas native Jerry Bailey sealed the title aboard Promise Of War in the third and final series event for owner Keith Asmussen and trainer Steve Asmussen of the Lone Star state.
On the heels of a Breeders' Cup when they had a huge day, the Europeans do not seem to hold as strong a hand this year.
A high-tech surgical suite, developed for human medicine, is now available to horses at Lone Star Park, the host for this year's running of the Breeders'Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The most heard word on the backside of Lone Star Park this week has been humidity. The weather has been warm but the sticky humidity has made it seem much hotter.
Tamweel, a solid second in the Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland Oct. 10, got some solid exercise over the track at Lone Star Park Thursday morning and is geared up for the Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I).
Trainer Mike Mitchell said he was pleased with drawing the five post for Kela after post positions were drawn for Saturday's $1-million Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). Kela is among the 13 entered for the six-furlong affair at Lone Star Park.
With the defection of defending older filly champion Azeri to the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), Ashado and Storm Flag Flying were installed the morning-line favorites for the $2-million Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I).
The burning question of whether or not Lord Derby's Ouija Board would go in the V05 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf or the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (both gr. IT) ended at the draw for the World Thoroughbred Championships Wednesday morning when she was entered in the Filly & Mare Turf and was made the 8-5 morning-line favorite.
The "Head2Head" wager on Breeders' Cup day might also be called "Head2Head2Head" this year as the menu will offer two races with three betting interests instead of the usual two.
When Tom Proctor won the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) in 1994, his One Dreamer paid $96.20. If Indy Groove wins the Distaff – Presented by Nextel Saturday at Lone Star Park, Proctor said she might pay twice that.
There are at least two trainers who think the correct move with Azeri is to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) rather than the Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I). One is D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Azeri. The other is Patrick Biancone.
Given the money and time that go into preparing a racetrack for the Breeders' Cup, it would seem inappropriate to use the word "test." But when the World Thoroughbred Championships is held Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park, it will be just that.
Diamond A Racing Corporation's Pleasantly Perfect, who will attempt to defend his title in the $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), arrived at Dallas' Love Field at 10:15 (CT) Monday morning from California, and was loaded for bear after arriving at the barn.
Nine of the top jockeys in the world are set to square off Oct. 28 in the International Jockey Championship at Lone Star Park.
Trainer Shug McGaughey is gearing up Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying for a historic run at the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) at Lone Star Park. The $2-million Distaff kicks off the eight-race World Thoroughbred Championships.
As concern over the amount of medical insurance for jockeys at most racetracks continues to grow, Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 22 that it has arranged for increase coverage at Lone Star Park Oct. 28-30.
With only 13 of the 101 horses pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on the grounds at Lone Star Park, there has been a paucity of activity this week by the Cup horses. In fact, an unseasonable heat wave in North Texas has been been the hottest topic of conversation around the track the past couple of days.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that Budget Rent A Car, Century 21 Real Estate Corporation, and the Days Inn hotel chain have reached an agreement to become Official Partners of the NTRA and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Gold Storm might have been bred in Kentucky, but the gelded son of Seeking the Gold is as true a Texan as J.R. Ewing. He is owned by a pair of Dallas businessmen and resides in the barn of a Texas racing legend. If that weren't enough, he will be racing on his home turf when he takes the gate for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
The Texas Racing Commission has approved the use of 31 "Horse Wizard" pari-mutuel wagering machines at Lone Star Park for the remainder of the fall meet that ends Oct. 31.
Kentucky has lifted a ban on animals from Texas now that the state is free of vesicular stomatitis. In the summer, the situation led Breeders' Cup officials to take precautions in advance of the Oct. 30 World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park.
It is no coincidence that Lone Star Park is hosting the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships after only being open for seven seasons. In fact, it was all by design and carefully planned by Lone Star management and city officials of Grand Prairie, Texas.
By Gary West -- So far it has been very amusing--all these folks boarding up the windows of their prejudices and then fleeing to the mountains of their preconceptions. And it could be entertaining indeed Oct. 30 when they have to scurry to escape the avalanche.
They say Lone Star Park's dirt and grass surfaces are identical to those at Santa Anita Park, which may account for this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships drawing the identical number of pre-entered horses as last year, when the event was held at the Arcadia, Calif., racetrack.
No matter how much time one spends studying the past performances and various speed figures for this year's Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), they still won't be able to feel secure picking a winner.
Behind both horses [Roman Ruler and Proud Accolade] are committed owners who have plunked down some serious coin and have already reaped some reward on their investment. Interestingly enough, both horses hail from first-crop sires.
The Filly & Mare Turf is the youngest of the Breeders' Cup races with just five runnings to date.
North American-based entrants have managed to win half of the 20 runnings of the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), and despite the likely presence of the reigning queen, French-based Six Perfections, the home team stands a decent enough chance to go over the .500 mark in this year's running of the $1.5-million race sponsored by NetJets.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens said Tuesday he will not participate in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, on Oct. 30 or in any other state without workers' compensation to cover complete medical expenses for injured jockeys.
Roses in May, hoping to cap off an undefeated season in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), and John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf hopeful Kitten's Joy were among seven Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships candidates on a flight that arrived into Dallas late Tuesday afternoon from New York and Kentucky.
With workers at Lone Star Park continuing to prepare for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and with the North Texas heat wave continuing (the forecast high was 91 degrees), Sprint (gr. I) contender Bwana Charlie went to the track Tuesday and zipped five furlongs in :59 2/5.
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